Social Media Circle of Life, or, Why You Should Never Tweet About People You Are Sitting Next To At Starbucks.


I was born in Barbados. Most people have never really thought much about Barbados until Rihanna (the Island's biggest export next to Mount Gay Rum) became big.

It's a small island in the Caribbean and while I'm American, and both of my parents are, they were living there at the time of my birth. My mom floated her prenatal days away in the warm ocean while my dad ran a parasailing business. Ahhh, the life. While I haven't been back since I was 16 (sigh) I (of course) keep up to date on Island happenings by way of the official Barbados Facebook page. Last week they announced the upcoming Food and Rum Festival, which I reposted on my wall with some comment of regret. 

And yes, there is a point to me telling you this. 

Coming away from BlogHer '11 with so many ideas, thoughts and action items, I took advantage of our babysitter being at my good friend's house (her kids are the same ages and sex as Lucas and Zoe which equates to play date GOLD) and dropped the kids off and headed to Starbucks to put my head down and work. When I walked in I took the only open seat next to a power outlet, next to a man working on a computer and a woman and two men in what appeared to be a business meeting. 

As you sit there working, you can't help but overhear conversations. At one point the woman to my right talked over me to the man on my left, something of a personal nature, so I gathered that they knew each other in some aspect. This woman was meeting with these two men about something to do with them selling her their new cloud-based technology to help her with whatever her business is. It had something to do with meetings and events, but my head was down in a world of writing and my own things, so I wasn't really paying attention, but it was pretty obvious that it wasn't the best business meeting for any of the three people sitting at the table. I've been in those meetings before - trying to explain something the other isn't getting, time running long, etc. Then the woman says something that stopped the conversation and made of of the two men look really, really uncomfortable. Noting this, I fired off a Tweet:

"I love working in coffee shops and listening in to others conversations. Esp biz meetings that you can tell are not going well. {evil}"

I go back to working my work and doing my stuff. The meeting to my right is coming to a close and as she stands up, the woman comments on my bag then asks me what I do and what I'm working on. Turns out she runs a business networking group, she then introduces me to the man on my left, who is a photographer. Cards are exchanged. Pleasantries are made. The woman then whips out her phone to show the photographer the latest picture of her beautiful infant granddaughter, who just happened to be currently in Barbados. The next picture is of Rihanna and the baby and it turns out that her son-in-law is the tour manager for pop star. 

About an hour later, I'm at Target with the kids when I get a text from Stefanie asking "who is @PadillaBowen?" See, when I handed my card to the nice photographer at Starbucks, he immediately followed me, and SDMOMfia, on Twitter. Even taking a moment to note:

"Nice to meet @SDMomfia today! Just shows, you never really know who you are sitting next to right now..."

to which I respond with:

"Maybe I should learn not to tweet about pple I'm sitting next to @Starbucks."

Social media lesson of the day? Learned. 

And? Now everyone I met this weekend at BlogHer has a 3 degree separation from Rihanna.